When the two pink lines showed up on my pregnancy test, I felt two emotions almost immediately; elation and guilt.
You see, I had just started trying to get pregnant. My husband and I had just decided that we wanted to have kids. In contrast, my sister had been trying for almost 4 years. I have been beside her and watched her struggle through a myriad of elements of infertility, and here I was, getting pregnant almost immediately.
Don’t get me wrong; I wanted my baby. But, it was hard to feel just happy when I knew that I had so easily gotten what my sister couldn’t seem to.
The guilt followed me throughout my pregnancy. When I complained about my morning sickness, I felt bad because I should have been grateful. When I was uncomfortable and huge, I should have been happy. While I sat through my amazing baby shower that she and my mom threw for me, I felt like I didn’t deserve it. How could I have the one thing that she had always wanted?
I was wracked by the constant, nagging thought that I didn’t deserve this. I didn’t deserve to get pregnant so quickly, to have a problem-free pregnancy, to be preparing to bring home my own child when my sister could not. I didn’t deserve to be a mom if my sister wasn’t.
Now that my daughter is here, my mom guilt still haunts me, but it has lessened. My sister was beside me during my labor and delivery and has been an amazing aunt, coming over for impromptu visits, making FaceTime calls to say goodnight, and having a sincere vested interest in my daughter. But still, she longs for her own baby. She still hordes baby items and makes lists of baby names; she still wonders when it will happen for her. So my guilt remains. I am overjoyed by my daughter and being a mom, but I deal with my own kind of mom guilt every day.